4 Advantages of Natural Light in Commercial Settings

By Jeff Brain | January 09, 2018

Supermarkets were once discouraged from incorporating natural lighting into their design plans, because it was believed that sunlight would increase cooling loads and spoil fresh food products quickly. According to new research, however, properly diffused daylighting products avoid these negative consequences and in fact provide multiple benefits for supermarkets. Architects and designers are now rethinking the best way to illuminate a supermarket interior.

Here are four of the benefits of having natural light in a supermarket.

Improve Color Rendition

Natural lighting brings out the greatest number of colors in food products. Under artificial lights, fruits and vegetables appear tainted or washed out, and they do not show the rich variety of colors and depth of shades that they naturally possess. Natural illumination makes fruits and vegetables appear fresher and healthier, making them more enticing to customers.

Worker and Shopper Satisfaction

Natural lighting is preferred over artificial lighting by employees and shoppers alike. Quality of life and sleep improves for workers who spend their days under sunlight, which reduces stress and the likelihood of illness. The pleasant environment makes employees more welcoming and helpful for customers, who prefer to shop in daylit stores, and they are willing to go further out of their way simply to shop in those stores.

Increase Profits

The more appealing the food products look, the more likely shoppers are to purchase them. The California Energy Commission found that retail sales increase on average by six percent when there is a significant amount of natural illumination. But that is not the only reason why profits will increase when items are displayed under natural light. An advanced daylighting system, such as solar tracking skylights, will allow you to turn artificial lights off during the day, creating up to 80% energy savings for a facility’s daily electrical use.

Preserve Nutrition

The tissue of green, leafy plants gains longevity and is known to retain metabolites, such as glucosinolates and chlorophyll, when they are exposed to diffuse day-night cycles of light. The higher retention of nutritional components in the food can have powerful detoxifying and anticancer effects on the body. Preserving such vital nutrients is essential for living a long and healthy life.

If you are interested in learning more about which daylighting product is best for your commercial space, download our eBook A Guide to Selecting the Best Skylight Solution for Commercial Buildings.

(Photo: Lindsay Bayley, CC.)

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